Nissan shares its modded up Ariya ahead of 17,000 mile journey from North to South Pole

After teasing a rendering last May, Nissan has officially unveiled actual images and video of the custom, all-electric Ariya that will trek 17,000 miles between our planet’s Magnetic Poles next month. This massive expedition is four years in the making and will truly test the boundaries of EV travel. Check out Nissan’s teaser video below.

The Ariya is the second BEV model to join Nissan’s lineup after beginning deliveries this past fall. It exists as a much larger and advanced EV compared to Nissan’s long-running LEAF which has seen minimal updates the past few years.

In May of 2022, Nissan announced it had partnered with Pole to Pole founder and adventurer, Chris Ramsey who, alongside his wife Julie, will drive a custom-built Ariya e-FORCE from the Magnetic North Pole down to the South Pole.

Ramsey is an all-electric adventurer and Guinness World Record holder. Pole to Pole is his planned expedition to travel from the North Pole through 14 different countries across approximately 27,000 km (about 17,000 miles). If successful, the Ariya will be the first ever vehicle to complete the excursion. He commented at the time of the original announcement:

Our mission is to show that electric vehicles can tackle the harshest of environments – from the bitter cold of the poles to the hot and humid jungles of South America, and illustrate that they are exhilarating to drive whilst meeting the daily demands of drivers around the world. It’s fantastic to see such an important and innovative global brand partner with our expedition.

With the Pole to Pole expedition a mere month away, Nissan has shared its custom Ariya brought to life for the Ramseys, complete with what else, but an espresso machine and sustainable coffee.

Nissan’s custom Ariya built for extreme weather conditions

As you can see in the images above, Nissan unveiled the Ariya EV that will be driven by the Ramseys beside a backdrop of snowy terrain in Reykjavik, Iceland. These conditions represent some of the Arctic-like weather Ramsey and the Pole to Pole team will encounter to begin their journey south.

While it’s easy to see that this Ariya is certainly not the consumer version you’d spot on your local highway, Nissan explains that modifications have been kept to a minimum, which means zero changes to the Ariya’s battery or powertrain. Its 39-inch tires are certainly not standard, not to mention an added suspension paired with Nissan’s AWD e-4ORCE technology to handle tough and diverse terrain. Chris Ramsey elaborated:

One of the things that underpins all the adventures we do is that we take a standard production EV and aim to make minimal changes to clearly demonstrate its real, everyday capabilities, regardless of where you are driving it. Our Nissan Ariya is no different as the vehicle’s drivetrain and battery has remained factory standard, demonstrating just how capable and versatile the production Ariya is. We’ve modified the suspension and widened the wheel arches so we can benefit from the stable platform and support of the 39-inch BF Goodrich tires. I’m incredibly excited to get behind the wheel of what was already a brilliant vehicle, but now feels equipped to take on the ends of the earth in style!

There are two additional modifications in the Nissan Ariya specifically added for the Pole to Pole excursion. One is an espresso machine inside the EV for coffee lover Chris Ramsey, who says the on-demand caffeine will help during long isolated parts of the journey. Probably not much to look at up in the North Pole at certain points.

When there is something worth looking at and capturing on video, the Ariya is equipped with a drone that can launch directly from its roof. To charge the Ariya along its journey, the Ramseys will transport a towable charging prototype that includes a packable wind turbine and solar panels. This will offer clean, renewable energy to the EV when the team pauses for a rest. Love that.

The Pole to Pole journey in the Nissan Ariya is expected to begin sometime in March, and you can follow its progress from its dedicated website. In the meantime, here’s a quick video of the custom Ariya zooming by in the snow.

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